Thursday, December 11, 2014

Trying To Find Middleground

As most things are in life, the balance between order and freedom is paradoxical. Take, for example, teenagers in contemporary America. We are forced to behave and do everything we are told in school, yet so much is expected from us on our own. Either we are supposed to do everything, or are treated as though we can't do anything. This skewed balance of freedom is what Arthur Miller refers to in The Crucible, "between the needs of the community and the desires of individuals."

I believe that as a society, we still have a lot to learn when it comes to this balance. High schoolers are so repressed and guarded, yet we have more responsibilities then we're able to properly handle. We are so close to being adults, but not quite there to experience the benefits of the world fully trusting you. This became especially obvious to me this year, while facing the usual loaded junior schedule and a serious sleep deficit. Doctors preach that our developing brains need a whopping nine hours a night, which seems as impossible to me as Miller's previously described balance is. How are we expected to take on everything we need to, when teachers sometimes won't let us go to the bathroom or get a drink of water during class. Also, seldom can a student ever take all of the classes that they truly want to take, due to an unbudging list of mandatory classes.

School systems and our community as a whole seems to value order more than freedom, simply because it makes things and people easier to handle. Therefore, one could argue that valuing one over the other is more efficient, but I still disagree. Adults and school need to fully trust us and properly prepare us for the real world. It would add to the balance if we were treated more like equals, rather than looked down upon by some adults. Other than the selective student government, I think more ways for students to voice their opinions in school happenings would be beneficial. After all, we have freedom of speech (which is more today then what they had in Salem), but what good is that without a proper outlet for it?

With these things, we can hopefully come closer to attaining to balance of order and freedom, in respect to teens in today's society.

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